Easter 2021: God Among Us!
Easter Story part #1
Luke 24:1-12 (Reading)
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Meditation ~ Pastor Nelson:
The Word of the Lord can be trusted.
If you are waiting on a promise God has made, remember how Joshua talked to the Israelites once they entered the promised land.
43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Many times prayers are answered later on… sometimes long after prayers have stopped.
Example: Linni and Ad and their struggle with infertility.
Easter Story part #2
Luke 24:13-27 (Reading)
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Meditation ~ Pastor Nelson
God is among his people!
7 mile walk (2-3 hour walk)
The OT is often referred to by Jesus.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
21 “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”
realties to the first point,
Does God really keep his promises?
America is in trouble. Right is being called wrong and wrong, right.
They had hoped Jesus would redeem Israel.
What about the world today? Who will redeem it and when?
Are we going down hard because of all our sin (abortion, disowning God in schools and government, tearing down the family) or will there be a reprieve?
We don’t know, but we do know God is with us.
7 And he called the place Massah [testing] and Meribah [quarreling] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Easter Story part #3
Luke 24:28-35 (Reading)
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way,
and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Meditation ~ Pastor Nelson
The SIGNature of Jesus.
What are the signs of Jesus? How can we recognize him in our lives?
This is the third one. The theme is “God is at work among us fulfilling his promises.”
Jesus is among us. Let’s make it a point to recognize and honor him.
“Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.”
Easter Story part #4
Luke 24:36-49 (Reading)
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Meditation ~ Pastor Nelson
Peace with God, People… and circumstances.
1. God: Jesus redeems us from our sin making access to God, possible.
What we think about God is the most important thing about us.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2. People: If I know God loves and has forgiven me, I will love and forgive others.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
3. Circumstances: When I trust God with my circumstances, I can be at peace with whatever happens.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Benediction - The Greatest Blessing
(Please read aloud together)
“And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and were continually in the temple blessing God.”